This animation is entitled Nucleosynthesis because I was thinking of atoms, as you do and the process of how they are formed, creating new atomic nuclei from pre-existing protons and neutrons. Or in other words, the birth of stars.

I used a few different tricks to get to the final render. Firstly I used an old flash interactive pattern generator that I have been tinkering with for years to create the circles, which would form the basis of the after effects project. These patterns would then sit inside an environment, where I created a camera rig to circle and follow them. The background was then created using Trapcode’s Horizon, with a sprinkling of particles for good measure.

The flash pattern maker with green screened background, which would make it a lot easier to key out in After Effects.

green screened pattern

This movie was then imported into After Effects and keyed out. Adding a kaleidoscope effect was just one of those thing that happened whilst building.

kaleidoscope images

The scene was created using a camera rig, which is basically a camera being controlled by multiple null objects, which in turn control Bank(Z), Pitch(X), Heading(Y). These are all wired into another null object which has expression controls connecting X,Y,Z and focus. Lights where added to the scene to cast shadows created by the kaleidoscope movieclip. The movieclip was duplicated and also controlled by a null object. This gave the object a gyroscopic flexibility.

building the scene

The background was created using Trapcode’s Horizon plug-in. I also added particles to give the background more movement, however this only partially worked. Because Horizon creates a 3D bubble that listens to your camera, the particles were far too stretched and became pixelated.

And here is the final video. Music by Funki Porcini. I’m thinking of extending this video to the full length of the audio track. Once again this is one of the beautiful things of how this was created. The pattern maker can make unlimited permutations, so who knows where this animation could lead.


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